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Birth Control Can Be Effective With Lower Dosage Of Hormone

Birth Control Can Be Effective With Lower Dosage Of Hormone

In an attempt to discover whether hormone levels may be decreased while still maintaining the effectiveness of contraceptives in delaying ovulation, researchers recently examined hormone levels in contraceptive devices.

Scientists from the University of the Philippines Diliman utilised computer modelling to calculate how much the hormone dosage may be decreased.

Their findings demonstrated that they could cut the hormone content of estrogen-only contraceptives by up to 92% while still preventing ovulation. Using hormonal contraceptives is a common way to avoid getting pregnant.

Though occasionally they can have negative consequences, this prompted a team of researchers in the Philippines to investigate whether it was possible to decrease the hormone dosage and timing of contraceptive pills while maintaining their effectiveness.

Their research, which was published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, reveals that it is possible to significantly lower the hormone levels in both progesterone-only and estrogen-only contraceptives while still preventing ovulation.

Hormonal contraceptives working

Medical professionals frequently recommend hormonal contraceptives to female patients who want to avoid getting pregnant. In the United States, 10.3% of women use long-acting reversible contraceptives, while 12.6% of females between the ages of 15 and 49 use oral contraceptives, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In order to prevent conception, hormonal contraceptive methods use artificial hormones like progesterone and oestrogen.

They may halt ovulation or thin the uterine lining to prevent an implanted egg from attaching, among other possible mechanisms of action.

Several hormonal contraceptive methods include pills, which can be progestin-only or a combination of hormones, arm implants (Nexplanon), contraceptive patches (Xulane), and intrauterine devices (IUDs) (Mirena or Skyla).

In addition to prescription contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, doctors occasionally do so to aid patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in reducing the size of cysts and thereby lessening pain or in the treatment of endometriosis to aid in controlling pain and excessive bleeding.

The following negative effects of hormonal contraceptives can range from minor to severe:

The risk of deep vein thromboembolism, or leg blood clots, is also raised in people who smoke while using hormonal contraceptives.

Some milder side effects might fade disappear, but people should talk to their healthcare professionals about side effects to figure out the best course of action.

Reduction in hormone levels

The computer simulations demonstrated that ovulation can be prevented by adjusting the hormone amount.

Researchers discovered that it is possible to concentrate on changing the dose during specific times of the cycle and still have the contraceptives be effective, in addition to the fact that the models showed that hormones may be reduced.

The dosage for estrogen-only contraceptives was cut by 92% by the researchers while maintaining efficacy. They decreased the dose by 43% while maintaining the contraceptive effects of progesterone-only contraceptives.

When it comes to the time of hormone delivery, the authors state “that it is most effective to deliver the oestrogen contraceptive in the mid-follicular phase.”

Brenda Gavina, a PhD researcher at the University of the Philippines Diliman, discussed the study and went into more detail about its findings. She explained:

Theoretically, our mathematical model with the simplification assumptions revealed that as little as 10% of the total exogenous oestrogen dose in continual administration might provide contraception as long as this dosage is precisely scheduled, which was startling.

Benefits of lowering the dosage of hormones

Estradiol and progestin are often the main ingredients in oral contraceptives.

“Lowering the estradiol dose can increase breakthrough bleeding, efficacy in obese women, but decrease the risk of blood clotting,” stated Dr. Monte Swarup, FACOG, a board-certified OB/GYN and the creator of HPV HUB. “Estradiol increases proteins through its metabolism in the liver, including clotting proteins.”

Lowering the hormone dosage to the smallest effective level has various advantages.

According to Dr. Pamela Berens, professor of obstetrics, gynaecology, and reproductive sciences at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, “this reduces potential risks for both complications and side effects.

Blood clots (both deep venous clots in the legs, for example, and clots that affect the lung, such as pulmonary embolism), for example, are some major side effects of greater hormonal doses used in contraception.

Rare problems like heart attack, pulmonary embolism, and stroke are other dangers associated with blood clots. The risks of these uncommon but serious consequences are also decreased by reducing the hormone dosage.

Lower hormone levels also lessen the risk of more frequent side symptoms such nauseousness, breast tenderness, bloating, and irritability. According to Berens, the hormone doses in widely used birth control have decreased over time while maintaining their efficacy.

Timing the hormones matters

The study’s model also shown how crucial hormone timing is throughout the cycle.

It was particularly surprising, according to Gavina, that theoretically, our mathematical model (with the simplifying assumptions) demonstrated that as little as 10% of the total exogenous estrogen dose administered continuously could achieve contraception, provided that this dosage is administered at the exact right time (the timing was also demonstrated in our optimization result).

It’s crucial to keep in mind, though, that “the results of this study are not directly transferable to actual patients, but the principles proposed in our study could be easily translated,” as Gavina noted. We anticipate that these findings will help clinicians choose the best contraceptive dosage and regimen in order to use medications as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Additionally, timing the hormones aids in reducing bleeding. In perimenopause hormone replacement treatment, synchronising the hormones with the cycles reduces breakthrough or irregular bleeding, according to Swarup.

What do reproductive health experts think?

The study is not yet ready for clinical use, experts stressed, despite the fact that the findings suggest that altering the hormone dose in contraceptives is feasible while preserving efficacy.

The co-founder and CEO of Pandia Health in Sunnyvale, California, Dr Sophia Yen, a clinical associate professor at Stanford Medical School, who was not involved in the present study, said, “It’s important to realise that this [study finding] is theoretical and was not tested in humans.”

Dr. Yen added that “[the hormone level reduction] most likely won’t be so great for those with higher BMIs because of the greater volume of distribution for the drugs.”

The study’s results were also discussed by Dr. Sandra Hurtado, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology, and reproductive sciences at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston who was not involved in its creation.

Dr. Hurtado made clear that the mathematical model used in the study needs to “undergo testing in an animal model and in humans to be able to test its safety and efficacy.”

She did recognise the study’s promise, though. Dr. Hurtado said, “It would be perfect if there was a mechanism to test and record the hormone levels in each individual and be able to give that person the dose at the right moment.

She added that carrying out this research further and creating tools like an automated insulin delivery system would be beneficial. “At this time, those are expensive and not justified for contraceptive use, but hopefully, it can be developed in the near future with continued advancements in technology and falling prices of electronics.”


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Remedies to overcome side effects of contraceptive pills.

Remedies to overcome side effects of contraceptive pills.

Contraceptive(Birth control) pills

When taken consistently each day, Contraceptive tablets are one method of birth control that is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The pill has hormones that control menstruation, reduce the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer, cure endometriosis, and improve acne.

How does the birth control pill work?

Birth control pill hormones inhibit pregnancy by:

  • ovulation suppression or reduction the release of an egg from an ovary.
  • cervical mucus is thickened to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus.
  • reducing the likelihood that a fertilised egg will attach through thinned uterine lining.

Side effects to taking Contraceptive pill

Starting the pill can cause adverse drug reactions in some women. After a couple of months, these adverse effects frequently get better. In case you suffer any side effects, let your healthcare practitioner know. Changing to a different brand that doesn’t cause issues can be an option for you. However, especially when beginning a new pill regimen, merely waiting out the symptoms for a few cycles frequently helps relieve many of the symptoms. Possible negative effects include:

  • breast soreness or tenderness.
  • Headaches.
  • Easily irritated or depressed.
  • Nausea.
  • In between periods spotting (abnormal menstruation).
  • acne
  • bleeding or spotting between periods
  • bloating
  • blood pressure above your usual range
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • feeling dizzy
  • fluid retention
  • headache
  • increased appetite
  • insomnia
  • melasma (dark patches on the face)
  • mood swings
  • vomiting
  • weight gain

Remedies to overcome side effects.

The tablet depletes nutrition, increases inflammation, can result in thyroid and adrenal dysfunction, causes insulin dysregulation, and alters gut health, in addition to raising worries about stroke, clots, and heart attacks.

But if you’re not ready to stop taking the pill, don’t freak out. The following techniques will help you support your body and reduce adverse effects:

Maintain a hormone balance.

There are many other hormones, such as thyroid, insulin, and cortisol, that need your assistance while the pill is suppressing your natural sex hormones. The severity of the pill’s negative effects can be greatly influenced by what you consume. Estrogen and other hormones can become out of balance with diets high in sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, nonorganic meat, and conventional dairy products.

These abnormalities are further exacerbated by stress, toxins in the environment, and chemicals that affect hormones. Cut back on these problematic foods. To balance your hormones and lessen the side effects that birth control can cause, increase your intake of vegetables, healthy fats, and fibre. To supplement nutrients and support your body while taking pills, think about adding seed cycling to your routine.

Reduce inflammation

According to studies, those who use oral contraceptives have higher levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP), which can increase the risk of heart disease, than people who don’t take the pill. Your mood will be lifted, cramps will go away, and you’ll feel less tired and back discomfort. Consume a diet high in anti-inflammatory fats that regulate hormones, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in foods like wild-caught fish and flaxseeds. Consider using curcumin and fish oil as anti-inflammatory foods, and sprinkle turmeric anywhere you can.

Organize your stress.

According to studies, women on the pill have dysregulated HPA-axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), which results in excessive cortisol secretion. The importance of managing your stress increases while you’re taking medication. Whichever method works best for you should be used. There are many powerful ways to take care of yourself and de-stress, including meditation (even five minutes may be transformative), prayer, mindfulness, finding your happy place, getting pampered with a massage, acupuncture, reiki, and a mani-pedi. Try to have an orgasm at least once a week.

Employ supplements.

Birth control drastically reduces nutritional levels. The pill depletes several important minerals, including folate, vitamins B2, B6, and B12, vitamins C and E, as well as magnesium, selenium, and zinc. I advise taking more magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and a good multivitamin-mineral. I also advise taking a decent probiotic supplement and extra vitamin D if a blood test reveals you are deficient.

Rest well at night.

You can say goodbye to fantastic emotions and hormonal balance if you don’t get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Key hormones that control the menstrual cycle can fluctuate as a result of poor sleep hygiene, insomnia, and sleep loss. To restore your body, replenish your adrenals, thyroid, and hormones, and feel like an idol, you must get enough restorative sleep.

Pay attention to your liver.

Hormones that your body no longer requires, including synthetic hormones from the pill, are eliminated by your liver. Your liver continues to actively detoxify these hormones while you are taking the pill, but it suffers from nutrient inadequacies brought on by the pill’s interference with your body’s natural detoxification processes as well as the tablet’s direct effects on your liver. In order to restore your hormonal health, supporting the liver is a crucial first step. The two favourite methods for doing it are: Consider eating 3 to 6 cups of organic vegetables each day, along with at least 25 grammes of fibre.

Listen to your inner instinct.

Birth control pills alter the natural flora, creating an environment where dangerous bacteria and yeast can proliferate out of control. Additionally, the pill may cause digestive tract inflammation, which may lead to immunological dysregulation and an elevated risk of autoimmune illness. Leaky gut, also known as intestinal hyperpermeability, is similarly influenced by inflammation. Including foods like bone broth and vitamins like L-glutamine and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet will help your gut stay healthy.


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